This past Friday I attended the second annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala at the New York Public Library. I had a blast with my boyfriend at last year’s MCC gala, so we had been anticipating the next one and pounced on ordering tickets as soon as they became available. And good thing we did, because tickets to the opening night gala sold out in a matter of three days I heard.
I was looking forward to attending the Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala because not only are thousands of bespoke cocktails crafted, but it’s also a chance for me to get all dressed up. In fact, I was anticipating this year’s Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala many months in advance. At last year’s Gala I saw a gentleman wearing a really cool tie–a cravat–so I bought Kevin one for Christmas to wear to this year’s Gala. And for my outfit, I actually wore the dress I wore eight years earlier for my high school Winterfest dance. I was surprised I still fit in it and I was glad to get another wear out of it. I topped it off with bright red lipstick and a little black fascinator top hat. We were a dashing couple if I do say so myself.
As for the rest of the night, it was ehh. Perhaps because I had so much fun last year I was expecting it to be even more fun this year, but I was a little disappointed. The event was from 10pm-1am and Kevin and I got there about 10:30. Luckily this year there wasn’t a long line outside to get in, but there were many lines inside to get drinks. I remember it being as crowded last year but I don’t remember waiting as long to get drinks. There were some rooms I didn’t even get to check out because there were too many people and I was especially bummed that I couldn’t find the photo booth.
Apparently I’m not the only one who felt that way. Daniel Edward Rosen at Velvet Roper wrote,
“”Our pictures from the photo booth were gone, as was our complimentary CD from Mr. Arenella. The rooms were now filled with a swell of partygoers (the headcount jumped from 1,000 people to 3,500 people in just under an hour, we were later told).
There were lines for drinks, even for popsicles. The Gala was no longer a party of abundant drinks and endless whimsy. It was like any other event in New York: it was packed and impossible to get a beverage.””
He even had early entrance into the Gala as a journalist, so he was lucky to have at least an hour before the real madness began.
One thing MCC did do right this year was stepping up its game on the digital side by offering NFC bracelets that digitally recorded the cocktails that were tried and connects the user to his/her social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) for instant upload, and it even had a partnership going with the mobile app, OnTheBar. Although OnTheBar had a map laying out where the bartenders were stationed throughout the library, it unfortunately did not show where the photo booth or any other goodies were located.
Despite being somewhat disappointed with the actual Gala this year, it still was a fun experience. Half of my excitement was getting ready for the Gala anyway. Additionally, to make the night extra special, Kevin got us a room at The Strand Hotel which is conveniently only a few streets away from the New York Public Library. After standing on my feet wearing heels all night, I was very thankful for the short walk, but even more-so for the amazing view from our 20th floor suite at The Strand Hotel. I had my “”I kind of feel like a princess moment”” getting dressed in a gown to go to a gala and spending
the night in a nice hotel.
This year’s upset won’t deter me from attending next year’s Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala at the New York Public Library, but I will try to be more strategic about getting to all the cocktails I want to try, and I definitely want to make sure Kevin and I attend with another couple.